SWOT Analysis of Dove: Strengths & Weaknesses 2021

IndustryFast Moving Consumer Goods – Personal Care 
HeadquartersLondon, United Kingdom
CEOAlan Jope
Revenues€25.8 Billion (2020)
Profit€3.4 Billion (2020)
CompetitorsOlay, Nivea, L’oreal, Neutrogena, Johnson and Johnson, Lux, Clinique, Himalaya, Pantene

Company Overview

Dove was founded in 1957 by William Hesketh Lever as an alternative soap that was less drying to the skin (Fox Business, 2020). Through the years, Dove became a trusted company when it comes to personal care. Dove’s catalog expanded gradually and added other products such as hair care, skincare, and deodorants. Unilever is a consumer goods holding company with more than 400 brands in over 190 countries. Some of these brands are Vaseline, Lipton, Ben & Jerry’s, Seventh Generation, and Sunlight (McFarlane, 2021). Dove is under the Beauty and Personal Care segment of Unilever PLC. In 2020, Unilever’s revenue increase 0.3% at €25.8 billion, while net profit is down 4.1% at €3.4 billion. The beauty and personal care segment generates the most profit at 47 percent. This segment generated €10.4 billion in revenue and an operating profit of €2.1 billion (McFarlane, 2021).

Dove Strengths 2021:

  • Strong brand value.

    Dove is a well-known product and one of the most commonly purchased brands in many countries. Its brand value is increasing over the past 5 years. In 2021, its brand value is at approximately $5.1 billion (Statista, 2021).

  • Advertisement and cost-effectiveness.

    Dove usually promotes its brand through a wide range of ordinary people. They believe that the brand speaks for itself, enough to be organically advertised through word of mouth. They do not hire celebrities for endorsement in their marketing campaigns, which makes them save a lot of money. Instead, they strengthen their promotions on different marketing channels.

  • Mild and nourishing products.

    Dove soap, specifically, is known to be gentle to the skin. Dove’s Research and Development professionals developed technologies and ingredients that are mild and not harmful to the skin. May it be for the hair or for the body, they have done research to provide products that nourish and protect.

  • Promotes realistic beauty standards.

    Besides its moisturizing effect, one other selling point of Dove is its promotion of beauty in all forms. They stay true to their brand and do not create unrealistic beauty standards (Samuel, 2021). They also announced the removal of the word “normal” from all of their beauty and personal care brands’ packaging as part of their new Positive Beauty vision and strategy (Unilever, 2021).

Dove Weaknesses 2021:

  • The number of players in the market.

    Everyone understands that the Beauty and Personal Care segment is a profitable market. Every player in the industry tries to innovate their products and creates strategic marketing to win the intense competition. The number of product offers provides more options to the consumer but dispenses the market share.

  • Increase in price.

    Unilever announced recently that the prices of their products will increase in the coming months. This is due to the price increase of commodities such as crude, palm, and soya bean oil, as well as higher transport and packaging costs. Unilever’s CEO Alan Jope mentions that they are facing a material costs increase (The Guardian, 2021).

Dove Opportunities 2021:

  • More opportunities.

    The beauty and personal care products market is projected to register a compound annual growth rate of 4.35 percent in the forecast period 2021 to 2026. Twenty-three percent of the total revenue will be generated through online sales (Mordor Intelligence, 2021). It is the best time to innovate products and strategize the marketing plans.
  • Expand target audience.

    Dove’s target audience is the active women on digital and social media, ages 18 to 35, who value natural and healthy beauty products (MMA). Although Dove has expanded its products to cater to men through its Dove Men products, it is not as promoted as the original products for women. The metrosexuals or men who loved self-care consumer base is expanding, so Dove should add focus on men’s personal care as well.

  • Beauty consumption during Covid-19.

    One of the effects of the global health crisis is how it impacted consumer behavior related to health and beauty. There is an insatiable demand for hygiene-focused beauty. Dove could create more products that are in line with this and promote it as a product that ensures good daily hygiene (Culliney, 2020).

Dove Threats 2021:

  • Competitive market.

    The high competition in the beauty and personal care products market comes from a big number of regional and global players in the market. The big players in the competition are Procter & Gamble, Unilever, L’Oreal, and Estee Lauder Inc. All of them are embarking on acquisitions and product innovations to offer more products and gain dominance in the local markets (Mordor Intelligence, 2021).

  • Counterfeit or imitation products.

    Ecommerce is a busy and competitive industry, which consequently increases counterfeit or imitation products. According to a report, the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated this concern. The counterfeits in question are often dupes and knockoffs of everyday items like the Dove soap and are typically produced in China and Southeast Asia (Yahoo, 2021).

Dove SWOT Analysis Conclusion:

The Beauty and Personal Care market is one of the fastest-growing consumer markets. It is projected to grow more due to the generation shift accommodating young consumers and entrepreneurs. Dove should take this opportunity to adapt to the trends without sacrificing its brand. Dove continues to empower men and women by encouraging them to promote their own and positive beauty. This kind of branding makes Dove unique in the market despite it being intense and saturated. 


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  2. Mcfarlane, G. (2021). How Unilever Makes Money. [online]. Investopedia.
  3. Statista, (2021). Brand value of Dove worldwide from 2016 to 2021. [online]. Statista.
  4. Samuel, (2021). Dove Competitor Analysis- All About Dove. [online]. How I Got The Job.
  5. Mordor Intelligence, (2021). BEAUTY AND PERSONAL CARE PRODUCTS MARKET – GROWTH, TRENDS, COVID-19 IMPACT, AND FORECASTS (2021 – 2026). [online]. Mordor Intelligence.
  6. MMA. Dove: Helping Girls Love Their Hair Deep Down to the “Cell-Fie”. [online]. MMA.
  7. Culliney, K. (2021). Trend reflections: 9 ways COVID-19 changed beauty consumption in 2020. [online]. Cosmetics.
  8. Unilever Dove: Helping Girls Love Their Hair Deep Down to the “Cell-Fie”. [online]. MMA.
  9. Jackson, D. (2021). FYI, the Sale of Counterfeit Beauty Products Has Increased 136% This Year. [online]. Yahoo!life.
  10. Wood, Z. and Jolly, J. (2021). Unilever warns prices will rise due to surge in raw material costs. [online]. The Guardian.

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